I remembered something this week. Something significant.
It happened on Christmas Eve, when I unexpectedly found myself singing Christmas carols in church. I love singing Christmas carols at any time — possibly because they’re among the few songs for which I can remember the lyrics. But when I found myself in the midst of a congregation of enthusiastic families, accompanied by a competent choir, I remembered how much I love choral singing.
Or maybe just singing in general…
It happened during ‘Oh Come all Ye Faithful’ and ‘O Holy Night’. The music started, the choir began… and my throat clogged up so I could barely sing. And tears started streaming down my face. (Embarrassing!) And that was when I realised how much I missed it.
Way back when I was at school, I sang in the choir. We performed Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, Vivaldi’s Gloria and heaps of other magnificent choral works. I had a decent voice — decent enough to study singing for a few years, but not decent enough to get good grades. And when I left school and went to university I gave it all away.
In the years since (more than twenty of them) I haven’t sung much. There have been moments every so often — listening to the radio, alone on the beach, with friends around a campfire — but relatively few. My voice is terribly out of shape. I can’t hit the notes I used to, or generate the power, or master the tone.
But I still love singing. It makes me smile (and weep!). And I still find the urge to sing manifests often in response to great joy. (Think ‘the hills are alive’ moments…) I can’t think why I allowed myself to give it all away. Now it seems as though I’ve denied myself something critical to my being… as though I’ve been living — creating — with an encumbrance.
The joy of singing is my inspiration of the week. What great loves do you think you might have forgotten? How do you plan to reclaim them? (I’m thinking about finding a local choir!)
Season’s greetings to all.